I really enjoyed some French frost recently. Firstly a massive hoar frost that seemed to cover all of France, then a light scattering while out walking one morning. I’m sure it’s a factor of getting old or having kids or something, but things like this are more beautiful than I remember them being when I was younger.

Part of my research and thinking at the moment, on what makes us all act so differently and believe such seemingly opposite things, is making myself aware of thing that ‘I myself don’t get’ or that I think are bad or wrong. Trying to let go of the idea that I am right about social issues with my liberal bias and embrace my own ignorance and wrongness in all areas. One such area for me is graffiti, and these two tags from Kingston University recently reminded me of my confusion and non-understanding.

Rather than say they’re just wrong and bad people that did it, I’m trying to question the value to anyone, including themselves, of such small (4cm across each), pencil (easily rubbed off), kind of crap (come on, they’re not good by anyones measure are they?) tags on the wall of a clean and tidy toilet in Kingston University. Going to meditate on this one today. There has to be something in it.

Classic beautiful packaging and the free dongle, but they don’t stay in my ear and they have a dangling cable, so as per my earphone user needs, I’m holding out for the black BeatsX Earphones which are pretty close to how I described my ideal earphones. Not out until autumn though so hanging on for them now after waiting for what seemed like an eternity for the new phone, thanks to my 5S slowly dying over the last month or so. On the matter of the new phone by the way, doesn’t the haptic feedback from home button feel a bit nasty, like the ‘click’ is coming from the back of the phone. Sadly no way to turn it off either. And wooooah! how long does it take to get used to not locking you phone nearly all the time when holding it in your left hand, or when adjusting the volume, or when playing a game or using anything in landscape mode?

Noticed an interesting cycle lane change in local park. Previously the path was split in two by a big white line. Bikes on the right (of the picture above) and pedestrians on the left. Cycling through today I noticed the new surface and then central floor parkings suggesting shared use of the whole path. And at either end, a new sign asking for people to share, with note about pedestrian priority and cyclist courtesy. 

After two weeks thinking about road use and responsibility in Sri Lanka, this is a funny change to see back at home. Removing a strict and clear rule (a literal rule down the middle of the path) which I’ve witnessed causing aggression between walkers and riders, if someone is on the ‘wrong’ side or not paying proper attention ‘as they should be’. The new rule of ‘this path is for both uses, so watch out for each other, is one that I bet will work better too. 

It’s reminding me of similar projects done on busy roads and of London Fields park where one path is shared and the other is split. Wonder if I could test my belief that the latter causes more agro?

Ella to Kandy on a long but beautiful train journey today. Stunning landscape and sights. Felt part Dr Zeus, part Studio Ghibli. Just so odd yet also familiar. Also funny how the train system here feels so British, except they do it with more style and emotion here I think.

Also, dogs. They’re all over the place but all seemingly really chilled out. Best find was this one at the top of a mountain we climbed. Just asleep, on a mountain. Then on the way back down we met this very brave or petrified lizard. Beats Pokemon Go when they’re real little beasties.

Noticed, holiday day three: Sri Lankan prefab structural posts look to be made in a mould lined with recycled paper. The remnants of the paper combined with the wobbles and imperfections caused by it gives each post it’s own personality. Given the new industrial aesthetic of exposed breeze blocks and concrete, these would give a nice addition of a more human touch. Wonder if you could import them or if they’d meet UK building standards if you could? Also, the place we’re staying numbers their palm trees, which I understood was for keeping track of the number of coconuts produced by each. The greater effect that it gives is of a really slow race or some odd sort of betting pool. Go tree 23! Finally, the lawn here is mostly clover which looks lovely. It supports my desire for more than grass lawn options back home. Personally I’d like a moss lawn but could be swayed by this.

Details noticed on our first holiday stop: Some nice bits of almost modernist concrete where we’re staying. Noticed different family member styles of taking sandals off. Neat mummy, casual daddy, whatever kids. And loving the braided palm leaf technique for roofing material. Would like to see how it’s done. Starting at one end (which?) or one layer at a time like a weave (he writes, thinking he knows exactly which techniques the word ‘weave’ covers).